Mood is a series of playlists curated by local creatives to appease all of your feels this summer. To submit your playlist to be featured, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I approached Aamina Edoo, a Toronto – based creative and executive receptionist for a North American entertainment law firm to curate this week’s playlist, I knew she would not disappoint. Aamina also handles the firm’s social media presence, keeping up to date with everything going on in both the local and global entertainment communities. A true music enthusiast and advocate of supporting Canadian artists, Aamina shared with artsUNITE / UNITÉ des arts the sentiments below, along with a mix of songs she’s “played so many times, it’s unbelievable.” Peruse on and enjoy.
This year has been interesting to say the least.
Music is something I always turn to sooth my anxiety; with the uncertainty of what our world will look like as we come fully out of lock down my anxiety has skyrocketed. Going back to ‘normal’ isn’t the answer, it is not sustainable, real change needs to happen.
As we enter the biggest revolution history has ever seen, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder – in the same week Toronto lost another talented young man to gun-violence – 21-year-old Dimariji Antonio Jenkins, professionally known as Houdini. Unfortunately, amidst lock down the rate of gun-violence has remained steady, according to the Toronto Police Service – Public Safety Data Portal, this year Toronto has seen 274 cases of gun-violence to date.
I currently work at an entertainment law firm, seeing firsthand what the music industry is like. The murder of Houdini hit me extremely hard; his life was not disposable, nor is anyone’s. After watching a panel with Director X , the founder of Operation Prefrontal Cortex (an initiative to reduce gun and mass violence in the city through meditation) he mentioned that a lot of label industry persons do not want to be around up-and-coming Hip-Hop, Rap, or R&B acts because they are fearful of the perceived violence surrounding them. On the CIMA Presents: Breaking Down Racial Barriers panel (it’s really been an amazing summer for panels and it seems to be all I do), writer Melissa Vincent, spoke about the music industry being built on systemic racism, and how it has not been retrofitted to account for artists of colour entering the market. My understanding is the lack of inclusion comes from a lack of understanding of the stories being told; value not seen in Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B and other genres, predominately dominated by artists of colour. The same genres that dominate the charts are still seeing a lack of resources being distributed into these spaces. It is worth mentioning, Houdini was one of the most-streamed independent Canadian rappers in 2019, with 9.2 million streams on Spotify. It’s time that the artists and genres that are dominating and being celebrated within our communities – that tell stories of Canadian life – get recognized accordingly.
A lot of my time in quarantine has been focused on learning the logistics of the Canadian music industry. While I can’t say that I am actively working every day to learn something new, during this time I have taken it upon myself to have more conversations, network within my field, teach myself how to be more straightforward (why complicate things?), study up more on diversity and inclusion etc., I actually recently was certified in a Leading with Effective Communication Course. I’m also trying to teach myself American Sign Language (ASL) and Korean, it would be nice to come out of quarantine with a new language skill! All in efforts to better myself, and hopefully through that offer some assistance in making a positive change in the Canadian music industry.
My main goal in life is to see people achieve their dreams, particularly artists of colour, from Canada! There is SOOO much talent here, I cannot stress that enough. I plan on doing my part by connecting people, exchanging ideas and resources in order to see people thrive.
This playlist is a mix of songs I’ve played so many times, it’s unbelievable. Studies show we often turn to things we know in times of uncertainty to give us comfort; there are no surprises, we know what we’re getting and the comforting feelings they bring us. I’ve also added songs that I’ve come across during my time in quarantine; songs that upon hearing for the first time brought me pure joy and love. Most importantly all these songs have been touched by a Canadian artist in some way; whether it was produced, the video directed, the song written, or the artist managed by a Canadian, everything on this playlist has the Canadian touch.
Citations: All quoted text is credit of Aamina Edoo.